“The Adventures of JR” by Kimisha Thompson-Hitchins
Are you a parent going through the Terrible Twos? Did you live through them and survive? Terrible Twosdays is a place to commiserate over the unending shenanigans of your Darling Children (as the online parenting communities say). Nonfiction stories will be considered, so long as names have been changed to protect the guilty. Inspired by our best-selling gift book for parents, Go the Fuck to Sleep, Terrible Twosdays joins the roster of our other online short fiction series. Unlike Mondays Are Murder and Thursdaze, we’re looking for stories with a light and mischievous feel, all about the day-to-day challenges of parenting. As with our other flash fiction series, stories must not exceed 750 words.
This week, Kimisha Thompson-Hitchins is outsmarted by her two-year-old.
JR was a precocious boy who loved to watch TV. He watched educational programs, just-for-fun programs, just about any programs. He watched TV in the morning, in the afternoon, and during the night. He loved TV so much that if you moved the TV set, he would move with it while complaining that he’s watching cartoons. JR and TV became inseparable. He didn’t want to leave it to eat, take a bath, brush his teeth, or even go to sleep.
It was a cold cloudy night when Dad decided enough was enough. After calling for JR to turn the TV off and go to bed, the two-year-old toddler knitted his eyebrows, pouted his mouth, and replied with a sharp, “No! I wanna watch TV.” Dad then calmly walked into JR’s Spider-Man and Ninja Turtle–themed room and turned the TV off. JR instantly wailed as if his world had ended. But Dad stood his ground and told JR to go to the bathroom to brush his teeth and then go to bed.
JR stomped and continued to wail straight into the bedroom where Mom was, as if to complain about the evil Dad had just performed. When JR entered the room, he stopped wailing and slammed the door while spouting gibberish in Dad’s direction. Mom asked JR what was wrong, and he instantly bellowed, pointing a finger to the door: “Daddy!”
Mom, who had heard the entire exchange, told JR that he shouldn’t behave like that toward Dad and that he should apologize.
As if stung by the statement, JR jerked up, knitted his brow, and said, “Mommy, no! Dad say sorry to me.”
With that he walked away, opened the door he had slammed, walked toward Dad—who by now was on JR’s bed watching a program—and began to repeat, “Daddy say sorry to me.”
Dad replied, “For what?”
JR, with his most innocent look, his head half-down, turned up his eyes and half-smiled as he walked toward the TV and turned it off. He then said to Dad, “Bedtime, Daddy. No TV.”
Dad then smiled to himself as he realized that he was guilty of the very thing he had scolded JR for. The two then went to brush their teeth and prepare for bed.
When they came out of the bathroom, JR said in a bright voice, “I’m ready.”
Mom and Dad asked at the same time, “For what?”
JR smirked and said, “TV!”
KIMISHA THOMPSON-HITCHINS was born in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1981. She has taught English at both the secondary and tertiary levels for six years. She has a passion for writing poetry and short stories. She has several poems self-published and circulating online. She holds BA, MA, and postgrad diplomas in English, all from the University of the West Indies. She is very family oriented and is inspired by life and her son’s everyday experiences. She is currently teaching high school ELA and lives in Winston Salem, NC, with her husband of six years and their three-year-old son.
Do you have a story you’d like us to consider for online publication in the Terrible Twosdays flash fiction series? Here are the submission terms and guidelines:
—We are not offering payment, and are asking for first digital rights. The rights to the story revert to the author immediately upon publication.
—Your story should focus on the challenges of parenting. Ideally, stories should be about children aged 0 to 5, but any age (up to early teens) is acceptable. Stories may be fiction or nonfiction.
—Include the child’s age at the time of the story next to your byline.
—Your story should not exceed 750 words.
—E-mail your submission [email protected] paste the story into the body of the email, and also attach it as a PDF file.
Posted: Dec 15, 2015
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